Haley Akin is a Senior Wellbeing Specialist at Garmin. We spoke with her on how to incorporate healthy living in the workplace. She gave us 5 tips on integrating health into a busy work schedule and explains what it means for your overall productivity and creativity.
- Create an Active Day for Yourself (and Others)
How many steps do you have right now? When was the last time you got up from your desk? All very important questions! Whether you are in the middle of a company-wide step challenge or just challenging a spouse or friend to meet your step goal, we want to focus on our overall activity throughout the day as a part of it all. A Garmin activity tracker is a perfect reminder for just that! To keep you moving throughout the day, set a personal goal to not allow your Move Bar to appear. Make sure you are taking regular breaks at least every 50 – 60 minutes. Simply walking around your office, a quick lap through the nearby neighborhood or completing a set of stairs to get your body moving are just a few great options. We know that for our bodies, regularly movement is one of the best things we can do! Creating a day that is overall full of various movement and activity is always the best option. You can be as creative as possible and include others to keep it motivating.
- Surround Yourself with Healthy Food
How many times in the last week have you found yourself being offered donuts, pastries and leftover pies brought into the office from the holiday? If we want to try to avoid these foods, we can’t keep them around, yet we continue to do so. The benefits of healthy eating are clearly indisputable, so why not surround ourselves with healthy foods when we want to be alert and productive at work? Create an environment where the healthy choice is the easy choice. When you surround yourself with healthy food options, it also builds the healthy habit and leaves you feeling as if making that choice is a great win for you that day. Take it! Have fun with it – challenge your team or colleagues to a healthy salad competition and everyone chip in on ingredients, host a healthy cook-out for the department. Think of creative ways to share all the health benefits of various fruits and vegetables. Embrace that food is fuel and help support others in their effort to eat healthier as well.
- Lead By Example with Healthy Work/Life Integration
We have all heard a lot of buzz about flexible work arrangements, it is nothing new. However, technology these days makes it easier than ever to work from home, from the road, and everywhere in between. In the always connected society that we live in there is never a distinct break or work life balance anymore. It is all about integrating the two and knowing what a healthy balance of each area of your life means for you. Lead by example and set healthy boundaries. Openly share with your team how you have been able to find a healthy incorporation of work and life. When this is a priority to many folks, it actually tremendously increases their productivity or creativity while at work. Who wouldn’t want to feel productive and creative while still feeling they are able to prioritize their family and personal life as well?!
- Incorporate Daily Mindfulness & Meditation Practices
Okay, so perhaps others have not (yet) caught onto the meditation band wagon as I have, but I guarantee everyone should be practicing daily mindfulness. A mindfulness practice can drive higher levels of attention and concentration, help you be fully present, drive authenticity and innovation through focus and clarity and help support resilience and wellbeing – isn’t that something we all want?! Creating an environment in the workplace that encourages and understands the value of mindfulness (and even meditation for those forward thinking companies – such as ours) brings a sense of cohesiveness and better understanding of one another therefore creating tremendous successes.
- Think Outside of the (Wellness) Box
Even at Garmin we have to recognize that wellness is not just about fitness and is ever evolving – although we do feel particularly passionate about our products and active lifestyles. Taking a step back from the day-to-day chaos to reflect on the big picture of what well-being is all about and what it means to incorporate this into the workplace allows for a better workplace culture and overall business. Having recently had success with internally programming such as a 4-part meditation series, an entire seminar on taking care of aging parents, what it means to be financially fit, recognizing resiliency in individuals at work and home and building a healthier community (to name a few), allows us to realize that sometimes the “outside of the box” ideas and initiatives are really what our associates want and need. Embracing the opportunity to begin shifting, over time, to a more holistic view of what workplace wellness and well-being really looks like. It is almost thrilling to have the ability to think the sky is the limit with opportunities!